WPP Shops Travel U.S. For $200M Tourism Win


A group of WPP agencies has been awarded a $200 million global U.S. tourism account. The assignment includes creative, media, public relations and brand consulting.

JWT and sibling MediaCom will handle creative and media chores, respectively, according to the client, The Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP), which issued RFPs for the business back in July.

Congress established the CTP in 2010 as a partnership between the travel industry and the federal government to promote international tourism to the U.S. The client confirmed that its ad budget for the next year is $200 million.

The client said the campaign will "showcase America to the world." It is designed to drive economic growth and job creation in communities across the U.S. to handle the hoped-for influx of tourist business.

Hill & Knowlton will handle public relations and Brand Union will take on branding duties.



Commenting on the selection, Jim Evans, CEO for the Corporation for Travel Promotion, stated: "America is a uniquely compelling and diverse travel destination, and the CTP, for the first time in our nation's history, will be creating 'Brand USA' to help bring more international visitors to every corner of our wonderful country."

Evans added that JWT, the agency of record on the account, "demonstrated impressive strategic insight and a genuine, shared passion for our mission." The agency will handle the new assignment out of its New York office, a JWT rep confirmed. It was not immediately clear who would oversee the account.

CTP is currently staffing up and expects to announce key members of its executive team shortly, including a chief marketing officer, chief business development officer and a vice president of operations.

The selection is effective immediately, the CTP said. In the next couple of months, the CTP will be working to develop the marketing and brand strategy, which will be unveiled in November at World Travel Market in London and implemented in 2012.

For MediaCom, the win is the second piece of new business it has been awarded this month. Earlier it won an assignment from Canadian toy marketer Spin Master.

The pitch process was overseen by Gary Stolkin, CEO of The Talent Business.

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